In one of the ties of the round in the last 16, Netherlands face Japan on Tuesday night, kicking off at 9:00pm local time in Rennes, France. These two teams are more than capable of going all the way in this tournament, but one of their journey’s will come to an end.


After their 2017 European Championship success in their own country, Netherlands are now hoping to claim a double by obtaining the World Cup too, for the first time in their history. There is a lot of expectation on this team to reach the semi-finals or even final, so the thought of being eliminated at this stage again will haunt them forever. They have won every game at the tournament so far, but they haven’t been overly convincing.

In their first encounter, they needed a last minute goal to beat minnows New Zealand, and then had a hard-fought game against Cameroon in which they won 3-1. With six points from their first two games, all they needed was a solitary point against Canada in the final group game to secure top spot, but they grafted another 2-1 victory to give them three points to keep their 100% run continuing. Can they prevail against Japan in the knock out round?

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Japan’s women have built up a great reputation in the past decade, and have become one of the superpowers in the Women’s game. In 2011, they became the first and only Asian World Cup champions as they defeated the USA on penalties in Germany. Four years later, they reached the final again, but only to be avenged by the USA, as they lost in a thrilling finale. Two back to back finals for a great generation of football players, and they have now added more youth to their team in order to be successful again.

They haven’t been as prolific at this tournament though, as they scraped through in 2nd place behind England in their group. Defeat to England, as well as a stalemate against Argentina, saw them only pick up four points. Netherless, their 2nd half performance against England has to be credited as one of the best performances at the World Cup so far, so it must bode well for their upcoming game against the Dutch.

Head to Head

Japan and Netherlands have only played once at the World Cup before, and that came four years ago in the exact same round. On that occasion, Japan edged their opponents in a 2-1 score line. Japan had taken the lead through Arioyoshi, before scoring one of the goals of the tournament from Sakaguchi to make it 2-0 with 10 minutes to go. Netherlands pulled a goal back at the end, but it was Japan who progressed. Can Netherlands get some revenge?

Our Predictions and Betting Tips

Netherlands are favourites to win the match at 5/6, with Japan priced at 16/5. For the sides to draw, and therefore go into extra time, that is at 23/10. To bet on the team to qualify outright, Netherlands are at 2/5, with Japan at 7/4. Japan impressed against England, despite losing, and the Netherlands haven’t been near their best.

It’s going to be a close game, so I anticipate it going into extra time, with Netherlands coming out on top due to having extra physicality. In 90 minutes, I predict a 1-1 score line at 11/2, with Netherlands winning in extra time priced at 17/2. For goal scorers in that draw, I’d pick both Kumi Yokoyama and Vivianne Miedema to score at 10/1.

Finally, for the tipsters, you can get incredible odds of Netherlands leading half time before Japan win in 90 minutes, in a HT/FT bet of Netherlands/Japan at 40/1!

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